Merry Christmas and The Conquering of The Beast!
Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!
The Doctor and I had two stops to make on this beautiful and sunny Florida Christmas. It seemed like such a waste to take four wheels on a day like today, so we jumped on our bikes and hit the Christmas stops in style!
In order to get to our respected places we had some choices of which roads to take. One option is to head down U.S Highway 301. It goes straight from our house to both stops. This was the easiest of the two options but it involves lots of stop and go traffic.
Option two was the scary beast that upon our last meeting scared the crap out of me!! This coming from a girl who has rode her enduro up the side of a mountain in Costa Rica with a hard mountain wall to one side and a cliff to imminent death to the other.
What could be so scary?! Interstate I-75. This interstate runs from Southern Florida up to the Canadian boarder were it terminates in Sault Ste. Marie (Thank you Wikipedia for that last bit of information).
Growing up in Florida, my life was spent on I-75. Whether for daily use or traveling, living in Tampa, I-75 is a majorly used interstate. Morning traffic reports always report some sort of accident, I have been stuck in traffic on this interstate due to some sort of accident. It’s just one of those roads. In a car, I have no problem with this interstate. On the back of a motorcycle, no issues. However, with me at the helm, it has been a slow battle.
The Doctor and I took a road trip a few months back over to Orlando and I-75 was part of that trip. Check out my blog this week “Bikes and Flying. I’ll go into detail how I-75 became my arch nemesis.
Yesterday though, the fear was gone. I got on the bike and told myself, “You Got This”. We made our turns and began to merge onto The Beast! Since it was Christmas morning traffic was light. It was like the planets aligned and my prayers were answered, when I hit the apex of the on ramp and I-75, there was a perfect gap for me to dart over to the far left lane. THANK YOU!!!!!!
The ride was quite enjoyable, so much different from the last ride where I swear I left “my balls” at the on ramp. Traffic was smooth and it seemed like everyone was relaxed. We made our way to our first stop then before we could blink, it was time to move our to my family’s Christmas extravaganza.
Every year we all gather at my aunt and uncles house in Zephyrhills, FL (yes, same place the water is from). It is always fun going there. As with every family, there are all the little kids and grand kids running around playing with their new Christmas gifts. The kitchen is filled with smells of turkey, ham, sweet potato pies with walnuts on top and every other delicious food you can imagine.
While all this is going on, the “grown-ups” all sit around joking and sipping on grown up beverages. It is very cool going over there because both my cousin Jason and Uncle Dave work for Harley. You get those two and The Doctor together and the motorcycle and shop talk never stops.
After the food coma, gifts being opened and amazing Red Velvet Cake, which is my favorite cake that either my aunt or my cousin Jason’s girlfriend make every year for me, I’m so spoiled. My cousin’s girlfriend trained at the Le Cordon Bleu in their Bakery and Pastry Arts Program. Some of the cakes she makes, I can’t even describe. I put a couple of pictures at the end of the post, she is phenomenal.
Sorry, went off track there, Red velvet gets mentioned and my minds spaces out.
After all the Christmas festivities, it was time to load up the presents and enjoy the lovely night ride home. The perk of having sport-touring motorcycles is the saddle bags. Perfect amount of room to fit all the gifts in.
We said our good-byes and hit the open road. We took U.S Highway 301 straight back home. I may have conquered I-75 during the day on the way up, but I wasn’t ready to push my luck at night. One day, eh night, I will hit that on-ramp to I-75 with nothing but the street lights and car head lights to light my way. Until then, I’m perfectly good taking other ways home